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Advice needed: Thomastik Spiro Weich vs Superflexible vs Belcanto

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by Seba, Mar 18, 2013.


  1. Seba

    Seba

    Oct 4, 2010
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Hi guys,

    I currently have (dead) Superflexibles on my bass with a Spiro Mittel E (I like it because it's more powerfull than the superflexible E). I would prefer all Mittels but they choke my bass, it's a bit tense... I think the superflexibles work well on my bass, only that they sound a bit twangy. So I'm looking for a string that sounds a bit darker, has more or less the same tension and doesn't feel more thin. I practice pizz (jazz) as well as arco (classical) but 90% of my gigs are pretty high volume amplified stuff.

    I'm looking at either spiro weich but here i'm afraid they might feel very thin and that it would be weird to have a mittel E because there's really a big difference in tension.

    Or Belcanto (which i'm sure sound great arco) but maybe they're not as punchy as the superflexibles and how about the the E string, is it powerfull? I would think it lacked power because of the even tension...

    Actually, I'm pretty happy with my amplified sound, the twang of the superflexibles often help me cut through the mix when playing loud. It's just that I'm not really fond of this twang when playing acoustic.

    Would you please be so kind to shed your light on this subtle but frustrating matter?

    Thanks,

    Seba
     
  2. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I have several clients that use a Spiro Mittel E string with Weich A/D/G (I have a DB strung this way myself!) and a couple of others who like a Spiro Mittel E with their Belcanto A/D/G. You might prefer the tension match between the 4/4 Spiro E and either of the two examples I mentioned.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Seba

    Seba

    Oct 4, 2010
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Thanks! Do you mean I can put a E string ment for a 4/4 bass on my 3/4 bass? Won't it be too long? I never did this before... And the tension will be lower than with a 3/4 E?
     
  4. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    A mittle E will work well with weichs, but I don't think you will find them any darker than Superflexibles.
     
  5. iiipopes

    iiipopes

    May 4, 2009
    On my CCB I use a Spiro 3885.5W E string with the Bel Canto A & D and a Prelude G string.
     
  6. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Correct - people do it all the time! ;)
     
  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I haven't tried Superflexes but Spiro Solos tuned orch are stellar on my bass. It keeps getting darker little by little and I love it! Great for both arco and pizz.
     
  8. Seba

    Seba

    Oct 4, 2010
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Don't the strings get too loose when tuning solos down to orchestral pitch or using 4/4's on a 3/4? I really wonder how this feels to the hands...
     
  9. No - this can actually save your hands and fingers...
     
  10. Most solo strings tuned down tend to play out of tune. It is especially easy to bend the pitch sharp with the bow. However, solo spirocores are one of the few strings which work very well tuned down and will hold their pitch.

    For your purposes, I would avoid the bel cantos altogether. They are excellent orchestra strings, but the pizz is less than satisfying. Not very loud, too little sustain.
     
  11. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    I've had this experience with Evah solos, but also with spiro solos where I had trouble with double stop 5ths intonation.
     
  12. Seba

    Seba

    Oct 4, 2010
    Antwerp, Belgium
    This is good info! I was just about to order a spiro solo set, but now i'm doubting again... Pitch is of course verrry important. Anyone else feels like i's more difficult to play in tune with spiro solo's tuned down to orch pitch? And what about using 4/4's on a 3/4, tensionwise and regarding pitch? Thanks for the advice!
     
  13. Weich's are a really good all rounder. Pretty easy to bow and have a punchy pizz and feel nice and springy and amplify well with a warm dark sound on my bass . Belcantos are beautiful under the bow and have a nice pizz but not as dynamic as the Weich. The Mittel E matches well with the Weichs as does the Weich E. Don't know anything about Superflexibles.
    I have Dominants on another bass that work well for pizz and arco. They are louder for both than either the spiros or the Belcantos. Slightly higher in tension than Spiros but not so much as to cause problems for me anyway. Depends on the bass ....
     
  14. Seba

    Seba

    Oct 4, 2010
    Antwerp, Belgium
    I talked to my teacher about using spiro solo's tuned down and he warned me that they might get out of tune quickly and harder to get a good pitch on. What are your thoughts on this?

    I looked over some different set-ups, regarding to tension. My bass now has 122,5 kg, switching to weichs would be 114,5 kg, Solo's 104 kg. I feel like solo's would be maybe too much, I'm tending to weichs right now.

    If I would use a mittel E (33 kg) in combi with weichs (A = 29 kg), there's a difference of 4 kg, which seems a lot to me. Now it's only 2 kg (mittel E, superflex A) and it's pretty obivous, nice though. Maybe a mittel 4/4 E would do the trick. What is the difference between a mittel 4/4 E and a weich 3/4 E, in sound and punch?

    Maybe I'm overthinking this, I'm just reluctant to make a decision because I have only one bass that has to serve all purposes and I know that the strings are going to be on for at least a year... If only they were cheaper...
     
  15. You should have a look at your scale length. The tension is only valid for the scale length the manufacturer reports with the tension.
    If you have a scale around 42" (105cm), you can use 4/4 Spiros and get less tension than the corresponding 3/4 Spiros. So you can use the 4/4 Weich Spiro and get a similar tension than the 3/4 Solo. The 4/4 Solo would indeed be too less tension for a standard scale. The 4/4 Weich also has a bit more tension on the lower strings than the 3/4 Solos.
     
  16. iiipopes

    iiipopes

    May 4, 2009
  17. Seba

    Seba

    Oct 4, 2010
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Thanks! I ordered the 3/4 spiro weichs. I think they will be good on my bass. I'll keep you posted ;)
     
  18. Just ordered some Superflexibles. I have been on Mittels for about a year or so and before that was on Weichs. How did you find the Weichs compared to the Superflexibles?

    The Weichs for me were great, but I needed more volume for orchestral situations and felt like the Mittels provided this, but of course, the Mittels are a bit less forgiving under the bow. (other previously used strings: Evah Mittels, Obligatos, Jargar Dolce, original Flexocor, Flexocor)

    I am very excited by previous comments on Superflexibles being enough like Spiros to make a great jazz string, but easier under the bow. Would love any and all feedback.
     

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